Happy “Green” Day with Organic Irish Soda Bread Recipe

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From Lisa Barnes

Remember when green was just a color? As a kid I always associated green with St. Patrick’s Day. I’d think of shamrock shaped pancakes and green colored milk my mom and grandfather would make on St. Patrick’s Day morning.

Later in college instead of colored milk, it was green beer. Yikes! Neither the beer or the milk was enhanced by the color (I don’t think it changed the flavor), but it was festive. Rather than color my children’s food with scary chemicals and food dyes, or sneak in a hidden green pureed veggie into their unsuspecting meal, I’m just going to make Irish Soda Bread with them and serve some green food favorites (naturally colored and honest). Where do we start? How do we choose? Green apples, cabbage, peas, asparagas, kiwi, honeydew, lime, pesto, spinach pasta, guacamole, celery and the list goes on and on…

Happy St. Patricks Day!

Organic Irish Wheat Soda Bread

This is the easiest, and quickest, bread I have ever made. In Northern Ireland this version would be called “wheaten” soda bread. No kneading, no bread machine and no mixer required. It is the perfect accompaniment to soups and salads. The bread will be a bit flat so not great for typical sandwiches but works well for tea sandwiches or spreading pumpkin butter. Irish soda bread is a classic quick bread. It surprises some people to learn that this traditional recipe hasn’t been around for thousands of years. Bicarbonate of soda was first introduced to Ireland around the 1840s.

Makes 1, 8 – 10 inch round loaf

2 ¾ cups organic whole wheat flour, plus sprinkling
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ¼ cups organic milk
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 large cage-free, organic egg
2 tablespoons honey

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine flour, salt, and baking soda. In a medium bowl whisk together milk, vinegar, egg and honey. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour milk mixture all at once. Stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, until everything is moist and combined. Do not overmix. Dough will be very sticky.

Sprinkle flour on top of dough and lift out with hands onto prepared baking sheet. Plop dough on center of sheet. It will settle in a mound (and you’ll think this will never work). Try to round as best as possible. Bake in oven for 20 – 25 minutes, or until nicely browned and makes a hollow sound underneath. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes before slicing.

Rise Above It! Because this dough has no yeast it will not rise very high as a typical loaf. However the ugly looking mound of dough on the baking sheet will turn into a lovely and delicious freeform round loaf – trust me.
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Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler and lives in Sausalito, California.
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